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Ray optics simulation of rotating devices for aerospace and defence applications

07 June 2018

Engineers developing technologies such as laser and fibre ring gyroscopes for civilian and military applications can now test new ideas and configurations in the virtual world using numerical simulation.

The Ray Optics Module, an add-on product to the COMSOL Multiphysics software, supports the ability to accurately trace rays through a moving geometry.

To showcase this capability, COMSOL is excited to announce the addition of a Sagnac Interferometer example model, complete with documentation and solution, to the Application Galleries. The new example provides simulation specialists with a working application of the Sagnac effect, the fundamental operating principle of ring laser gyroscopes, and will help those working with attitude detection to get a better understanding of the sensitivity and accuracy of such complex inertial navigation systems.

"We are very excited to share the Sagnac Interferometer model with the simulation community," says Christopher Boucher, Technical Product Manager, COMSOL, Inc. "Just specify the angular velocity, and then you can accurately trace rays through the interferometer as it rotates, even though the two phenomena happen over vastly different time scales. This is a real game changer for those working in the aerospace and defence industries. To our knowledge no other commercial software solution is able to execute this.” The movement in the example model is simple rotation, but the same capability could be applied to combinations of translation and rotation. Multiphysics models can also be built coupling ray tracing with structural deformation, including thermal stress.

The Application Galleries features hundreds of example models and apps to help simulation specialists get started using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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